Tuesday, May 29, 2018


A couple of summers ago 
we screened in a plain old porch 
and turned it into a magical place.

 A place right next to
 the Secret Garden,
 a place where we could 
listen to the birds, 
watch the fairies dance
 and a place where we could 
sit and dream 
and let the world,
 and all of its problems,
 pass us by.
And sit and dream we did! 
 So much so
that the remaining task 
needed to fulfill this porch's destiny
 didn't get done...
the painting.

The white paint, or primer, 
already there, 
had been a quick fix 
from a few years ago 
when the exterior walls were 
chipped and peeling 
and waiting for a new finish.
  It looked okay 
and we figured 
it would get us by for awhile,
 but then that sitting and dreaming thing
 kicked in
 and before we knew it,
 the season of summer
 was gone.

 it's nearly a new summer 
and a lot of hard thinking 
has gone into
 what the new
 paint color job should look like.

 At first, 
we thought just a new coat
 of shiny white 
would do the trick. 

 After all, 
it had made the cover of
 a national magazine!

then I saw this on

Pinterest - Source

...and since the Secret Garden 
looks like this...

...it just seemed like a 
match made in heaven.

 I just knew it would seem heavenly 
when the hot summer was pressing down
 and we were surrounded by cooling greens
 that would make the 
sitting and dreaming 
so much more

Laurel Garland - Behr

After the basic color
 was decided,
 we found this 
table and chairs...

Table - Local antique shop
Chairs - The Rehab Store

...and the full design came into view.

  I had in mind 
a cabin in the woods 
or a camp in the Adirondacks 
and slowly,
 but surely,
 our version of those two ideas 
came together.


We had this birdhouse
 in Jacob's Garden
 for about twelve years. 
 It was starting to lean 
and the patina was just at
 the right stage, 
so we brought it inside the porch
to preserve it...

...I love the whimsy
it adds 
over the table.

With the addition of
a few of our 
favorite things...

...we have turned our little 
Summer Place
 into a peaceful spot 
where we can continue 
to sit and dream.

"To sit in the shade
on a fine day
and look upon verdure
is the most perfect

Jane Austen


We received
 a wonderful gift 
some 50-ish years ago.

 Happy Birthday
 to our beautiful daughter,

You, sweet girl,
 are a gift that just
 keeps on giving.

 We love you.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018


We went down to Santa Cruz 
this past weekend to the kids.

 We all went out to a wonderful dinner
 on the wharf 
in celebration of 
Mother's Day and 
Tami's birthday.

On Saturday,
 the Captain and I 
attended the Goat Hill Antique sale
 at the fairgrounds. 
 It was a good show, 
but I really didn't see anything 
that I had to have.

it is amazing to me 
how much the prices have gone up
 over the years since
 we started collecting.

I did buy 
this little what-not, 
 over-riding the Captain's opinion 
that it is just plain ugly. 
 I think it's kind of cute, 
and I always like to have something
 to show for 
my efforts!

Thank you all so much 
for your excitement and congratulations 
for us 
about our Country Sampler magazine article.
  We are still 
up in the clouds 
about our forever fairytale 
coming true.

Speaking of fairytales,
 did you watch the Royal Wedding? 

 Since we were gone, 
I taped the whole thing 
and sat down Sunday 
to watch seven hours of 
romance, tradition and fashion.

 It was such a treat 
to feel like we were all 
in a world without 
hate or controversy 
for a short time.

 This was such an uplifting experience,
 even though the local news followed up 
with stories about
 a five year old found dead 
in a storage locker 
and a sheriff's K-9 deputy 
being shot 
and, yet, another school shooting.

 To escape to a fantasy land 
every once in awhile 
is something that
 we all need.

I have never been 
a collector of royal memorabilia 
but, I have always held 
a fascination for the royal family.

 I have seen their weddings,
 have mourned Princess Diana's death
 and celebrated the births
 of their children.

Harry and Meghan 
seem to be more 
accessible and modern
 and they are such
 a darling couple.

Even Kai
 donned his "fascinator"
 and enjoyed watching the festivities.

  It was a beautiful ceremony
 and the love between 
Prince Harry and his Princess 
is quite obvious.

To me, 
it was the true meaning 
of a fairytale 
and I hope 
they live
 happily ever after.


 off to slay some dragons 
and on to the next round of 
red, white and blue...
the real world!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018


"It's such a beautiful day in the neighborhood, 
I thought I would sit a spell in the Secret Garden,
 open a good book, 
and then before I knew it, 
I fell fast asleep. 

 My head and heart 
were filled with memories of old...
"Uncovering Dreams" of long ago, but not forgotten...

and that dream went something like this......

As far back as I can remember 
I loved to play
 with my dolls and play house.

  My dad built us
 a playhouse in the garden 
and my siblings and I 
made good use of it.

It had two rooms 
and we furnished it with 
cast off pieces of furniture,
 mismatched pieces of china 
and brightly colored curtains.

  We had so much fun 
and when we out grew it 
the neighbors took it over
 for a chicken coop
 and I moved on to 
decorating my bedroom with 
pictures on the walls 
and fresh flowers from my mother's garden.

  Since the Captain and I got married
we have lived in five houses 
and each one has been my play house
 and I have always dreamed of 
bigger and better ways
 to make each one
 prettier than the last.

I have always collected 
home decorating magazines
 like garbage collects flies!

 There was a time when 
the Captain said that our bed 
would collapse 
if the magazines were removed 
from underneath.  
I thought it was so sweet 
that he offered to do 
the grocery shopping,
 until I realized that
 he just wanted
 to keep me away from 
the magazine aisle.

To this day, 
each night before I fall asleep,
 the last thing I think about
 is a new decorating project 
that I'd like to start 
and my personal dream 
has always been 
to have our home 
featured in a magazine...

...and I'd like to announce 
that after all these years, 
my fairytale is coming true.

 So many of you
 have had the honor of
 being featured in a magazine, 
and I always get so excited 
when I see one of your beautiful homes,
 that I visit often, 
revealed in print.

 you will be able 
to see mine 
and I can't even tell you 
how over the moon I am.

 Our Cottage 
is one of the featured homes
 in the July 2018 issue of 
Country Sampler magazine,
  and the icing on the cake is
 that our screened porch 
(Our Summer Place)
 has been chosen
 to grace 
the cover.

It all started last summer 
when I got an e-mail from 
Anne Gridley 
She had seen my post about
 a red, white and blue summer theme
 and wanted to show it to 
Country Sampler magazine.

 I sent her my photos 
and waited to hear back from her.
  After awhile, 
she said the magazine 
liked the photos 
but couldn't use them at this time.

 I was so disappointed 
but still honored 
that we had even been considered.

About a month later 
she called me to say 
the magazine did want 
to feature the Cottage
 in their July issue. 
 it was all set in motion 
 in August of last year, 
Gridley and Graves
 arrived at the Cottage 
and she was so ready 
for her close up.

If you ever need a friend 
who can keep a secret 
- I'm your girl!
It has been 
the hardest thing I have ever done
 and when Kris from Junk Chic Cottage
and Des from Peeking Through the Sunflowers  both told that they, too, 
were being photographed by
 Gridley and Graves,
 I could hardly control myself.

 I persevered,
 and now I have just let out
a big breath 
that feels like it has been 
held in

If I was picked
 for a hundred magazines,
 I don't think I would ever 
get used to it.
I feel
 it is such an honor
 and when I think of all of you 
who will be reading about
 our little Cottage, 
I almost can't fathom it.

Fairytales do come true 
and as I have said, 
I think I'm dreaming,
 but please don't wake me up!

  I have been a subscriber 
to Country Sampler for years 
and have always admired 
the homes that are featured each month 
in their pages.

 our humble Cottage 
will be among them 
and my thanks to Rebecca Razo 
for the time and care 
she took to tell our story 
and also to Anne and Gary 
for their beautiful
 photography and styling 
and the fun time
 we had 
in their company.

The July issue
 of Country Sampler magazine
 will be on the newstands soon
 and I can hardly wait for you to see it.

 It is a beautiful issue,
 filled with bright colors,
 welcoming homes,
 and many classic country crafts 
and now,
 can you understand why,
even though I already put out
my weekly post,
 I just couldn't wait 
 for you to
read all about it.


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